AN impressive eulogy outlined the impressive achievements of Kevin McCarthy, former principal of Clonakilty Community College, but in conversation, his son, Fergal, described his dad as ‘a gorgeous man; a fabulous family man; and a very good and honourable guy.’
That is what Kevin McCarthy of Dunmore, Clonakilty – who died on Wednesday November 21st – will be remembered for by Fergal, and his siblings: Tara (CEO of Bord Bia), Emmet and Shane, as well as his loving wife, Winnie.
But it wasn’t just his family who shared that opinion of him because throughout his life he helped lots of people – young and old – and that is his true legacy.
Kevin grew up in Skibbereen, one of 10 children born to Denis and Ellen McCarthy, and he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a carpenter. After completing his apprenticeship he was accepted on a teacher training course and qualified as a woodwork /technical drawing teacher.
In 1964, aged 34, he was appointed headmaster of Clonakilty Community College. And he went on to do more great things by adding day and night-time courses in hotel management and catering, secretarial courses, and beauty therapy, trebling the numbers at the school.
Not only did he support students in their search for jobs, Fergal, principal of Kinsale Community School, said his dad was known for helping people design their houses, and apply for planning and grants when starting out.